Scrat finally satisfies his desire… A happy ending?

85

Sid, Manny and Diego celebrated their twentieth birthday this year. And with his friends from The Ice Age (Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha, 2002), the iconic little squirrel with long teeth and star of that animated film series Scrat. To announce the closure of Blue Sky, the studio that produced them, the creators chose to release a short video of this character entitled The end

We see the ice rodent holding its acorn between its paws, exactly the one he had pursued so much during the episodes of the saga. And as a symbol, he finally manages to eat it. This happy ending evokes our own relationship to desire. Lighting with Platoepicure and camus

From the ice floe of Scrat to the garden of Epicurus

The most notable feature of Scrat’s character is his perseverance. The little prehistoric animal shows an admirable ability, movie after movie, failure after failure, to always go back in search of the acorn that obsesses it, even if its ruthlessness leads to disasters on the scale of the entire planet (volcanic eruption, eruption of Pangea, destruction of the ancient city of Scratlantis…). Scrat seems eternally searching for his desire.

For Epicurus, wondering about this sort of thing, not all desires are avoidable. It is simply a matter of knowing how to distinguish them so that the individual pursues only those that will bring him satisfaction. In the Letter to Ménécéehe is writing : “Of the desires, some are natural, others empty; among the natural desires some are necessary, others only natural; and of the necessary desires, some are necessary for happiness, others for life itself. † So where would Epicurus have placed the quest for the animated rodent? † The coveted acorn represents a natural (to eat) and necessary (to survive) desire. But we can imagine that Scrat could have tried to keep himself alive in some other way or tried his luck with another jerk. What was only a natural desire seems to have turned into desire “necessary for happiness”, under the influence of time. An obsession that is ultimately not so bon vivant…

Plato, the Ice Age and the Eternity of Deprivation

From this point of view one could compare the funny beast with the Callicles of the Gorgias from Plato. The rhetorician affirms that to be happy it would be enough to devote all your courage and all your intelligence to the satisfaction of your desires. In this dialogue Socrates replies that, because of its infinite nature, such a view cannot represent a viable model. He also likens it to the company of perpetually filling a punctured container, which generates more discontent than fulfillment.

According to Plato, it is in the nature of the desire to be constantly reborn: seeking happiness would be like an endless undertaking and therefore impossible to carry out (like Scrat systematically losing his acorn and going so far as to give up love to find it again) † What now seems an insurmountable difficulty is at the same time an ambivalent quality in man. The end of desire also represents the end of life as such. When the desire is no longer, because it has been satisfied, it irretrievably ends the adventure…which no doubt explains the strange feeling, mingled with sadness, one experiences when Scrat finally swallows his acorn so long coveted. We understand that we have indeed arrived at “The end”

Scrat and his jerk like Sisyphus and his rock?

Finally, the absurd is an important aspect of Scrat’s quest. Behind his long pointed teeth, the figure of Sisyphus can be guessed. Of this mythological character, it is above all the torture that we know, which consists in rolling his rock up a hill only to fall immediately on the other side and have to start again, for eternity. In its own way, the squirrel pursues a similar business.

But behind the absurd also manifests a deeply courageous existential attitude, which makes him a free character and refuses to give in to the sense of the absurd: “What is a rebellious man? It’s a man who says no. But if he refuses, he does not give up: he is also a man who says yes from his first move.write camus from the first lines of his rebellious man (1951). In his own way, Scrat is a rebel! It is impossible for him to give up and bow down. His job is exactly what gives his life meaning, however absurd it may seem at first glance. Shouldn’t we imagine Scrat happy then?

Leave a Comment